I don’t care if nothing happened in January. We need content so come up with something

Prologue:

Me: “What am I supposed to do, just make something up?”

Content manager: “No, we already have enough alternative facts on our website. Didn’t you run at all this month?”

“Yeah, but there was nothing worth writing about.”

“Well, we need to stay on top of organic search, so come up with something. That’s what you’re here for.”

“I didn’t really get any good pictures.”

“That’s what stock photos are for.”

“Fine, I’ll put something together.”

“EOD, Brandt.”

“Fine.”

My threshold for refusing to learn how to ski is six feet of snow in one month

This is a picture of a person skiing and smiling. S/he is in the mountains, God knows where though. Probably Switzerland.

Here’s a picture of me learning to ski on Saturday. Photo credit: pixabay.com/en/users/Hans-2

There’s a place at Tennessee Pass just north of Leadville called Ski Cooper. I went there Saturday to begin what I hope will turn out to be a healthy, fulfilling relationship with the sport of skiing.

I’ve been refusing to learn how to ski for a long time because I’m afraid of blowing out my knees, which I really need for normal stuff like running all day. But we all have our snapping points, and mine is apparently six feet of snow in a single month. (According to OnTheSnow, a website that provides snow reports for resorts around the world, Ski Cooper received 77 inches of snow in January.)

After I gave them money for a group lesson, Ski Cooper sent me a nice automated email with detailed information about what to wear and what not to wear (no cotton?) — plus a note that a single lesson might not prepare me for the actual slopes (no kidding, spoiler alert) — plus a reminder to please arrive 90 minutes early so there’d enough time for gear fitting (fine). Notably absent were any warnings about how dumb I’d feel walking around in ski boots for the first time, or how if I tried to walk down even the slightest incline in ski boots I would immediately fall on my face, or how wearing ski boots would significantly increase my chances of falling on my face in front of a bunch of third-graders who just finished shredding a black diamond.

Fortunately, my punctuality uncovered those absent warnings and afforded me time to react. I arrived at 11:30am on Saturday, exactly 90 minutes early as requested, only to find that gear fitting takes 20 minutes. That gave me 70 minutes to kill, and I decided to go explore the Ski Cooper grounds in my ski boots — so by the time 1pm arrived I was pretty well practiced and able to walk to the group lesson meeting spot without falling over.

The group consisted of eight persons: one (1) instructor, six (6) strangers who were clearly their own little mini-group, and one (1) me. I suppose I should include some actual details about the lesson in case this article accidentally generates organic search traffic. Over the course of two hours I learned how to 1) use the edge of my skis to ascend a hill laterally, 2) turn left and (occasionally) right while descending, and 3) stop just before crashing at the bottom. 1) is fairly straightforward, but 2) and 3) will require more practice. I was lucky to have a very patient instructor who kept reminding me to “lean forward” as I hurtled screaming down the bunny hill.

The end.

Epilogue:

Content manager: “What the hell was that?”

Me: “I’m not sure what you mean. Please explain.”

“Haha. Did you forget this is a running blog?”

“No, I just didn’t have any interesting stories about running, so I wrote about my first ski lesson. You told me to come up with something.”

“I’m disappointed, Brandt.”

“Maybe this picture from my snowshoe run slash hike up to Mosquito Pass on Sunday will change your mind?”

Evans Gulch and Birdseye Gulch seen from Mosquito Pass

“I thought you didn’t take any pictures.”

“I didn’t take any good pictures.”

“That one looks pretty good to me.”

“Thanks. Here’s another one looking east from the top of Ball Mountain a couple weeks ago. The way I remember these peaks is the roundish one is East Ball Mountain, the one you think is Gemini is Dyer, the one with the summit flag is Sherman, and the shy one hiding behind Dyer is Gemini.”

This is mostly just white with faint outlines of Mount Sherman, Mount Dyer, and other Mosquito range peaks

“Thanks, that was so helpful.”

“I know.”

“Why didn’t you just write about Mosquito Pass and Ball Mountain?”

“Didn’t seem interesting enough.”

“I see.”

“So for this one, I don’t remember where it was taken, but just look at all this snow.”

Some dumb road

“Uh-huh.”

“And here’s my car Growler from earlier this month.”

You can't tell at first but there really is a car in this picture

“Holy crap.”

“I know, right? I’ve got a bunch more of Growler, check out th—”

“Let’s hold off on the pictures for now. Next time, please keep your writing more on topic, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Also, I’ve noticed that Yoast SEO pretty much always says your writing needs improvement.”

“I know.”

“So that needs to be fixed. Also, I’m putting a note about this on your performance review.”

“Okay. Can I just show you one more picture of me skiing?”

“No.”

Waterskier one-handing it and probably about to wipe out

Photo credit: pixabay.com/en/users/tpsdave-12019

 

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